US: School that barred transgender student Gavin Grimm from boys’ restroom violated his rights, judge rules

The constitutional rights of a transgender student were violated when he was barred from using the boys’ restroom at his Virginia high school, a federal judge ruled Friday. The student, Gavin Grimm, said the ruling sent the message that “discrimination is not legal in America.” But the 20-year-old, who has graduated from the high school where he was banned from the boys’ restroom, acknowledged that the school system could appeal the decision, and it is “likely that this is not the end.”

“We deserve equal rights,” said Grimm, who is studying to be a teacher in California. “I’m going to be doing what I can to fight.”

In court last month, attorneys for the Gloucester County School Board argued that gender is not a “societal construct” and that Grimm has not undergone gender reassignment surgery and should not be allowed to use the boys’ restroom.

Grimm sued after the school board in 2014 mandated that students use restrooms aligned with their “biological genders.” He argued that the policy violated the 14th Amendment’s equal-protection clause and Title IX, the law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex in schools that receive federal money.

The case ascended to the Supreme Court, which was scheduled to hear it in spring 2017. But the justices returned the case to a lower federal court after the Trump administration reversed Obama-era guidance that directed schools to allow students to use restrooms that aligned with their gender identity.

Last year, Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen declined to dismiss the case from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. The two sides appeared in Allen’s courtroom last week to argue the case after talks to end the bathroom rule broke down earlier this year. Read more via Washington Post